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Assessment of the structure and variability of Weddell Sea water masses in distinct ocean reanalysis products

Assessment of the structure and variability of Weddell Sea water masses in distinct ocean reanalysis products
Assessment of the structure and variability of Weddell Sea water masses in distinct ocean reanalysis products
We assessed and evaluated the performance of five ocean reanalysis products in reproducing essential hydrographic properties and their associated temporal variability for the Weddell Sea, Antarctica. The products used in this assessment were ECMWF ORAS4 (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts Ocean Reanalysis System 4), CFSR (Climate Forecast System Reanalysis), MyOcean UR025.4 (University of Reading), ECCO2 (Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean, Phase II) and SODA (Simple Ocean Data Assimilation). The present study focuses on the Weddell Sea deep layer, which is composed of the following three main water masses: Warm Deep Water (WDW), Weddell Sea Deep Water (WSDW) and Weddell Sea Bottom Water (WSBW). The MyOcean UR025.4 product provided the most accurate representation of the structure and thermohaline properties of the Weddell Sea water masses when compared with observations. All the ocean reanalysis products analyzed exhibited limited capabilities in representing the surface water masses in the Weddell Sea. The CFSR and ECCO2 products were not able to represent deep water masses with a neutral density ? 28.40 kg m?3, which was considered the WSBW's upper limit throughout the simulation period. The expected WDW warming was only reproduced by the SODA product, whereas the ECCO2 product was able to represent the trends in the WSDW's hydrographic properties. All the assessed ocean reanalyses were able to represent the decrease in the WSBW's density, except the SODA product in the inner Weddell Sea. Improvements in parameterization may have as much impact on the reanalyses assessed as improvements in horizontal resolution primarily because the Southern Ocean lacks in situ data, and the data that are currently available are summer-biased. The choice of the reanalysis product should be made carefully, taking into account the performance, the parameters of interest, and the type of physical processes to be evaluated.
1812-0792
523-546
Dotto, T.S.
c5ee790e-4e5f-428d-81a4-cef9656c1ef7
Kerr, R.
962f2f9a-611c-4abf-a697-420241478624
Mata, M.M.
da6b68e6-6c3d-46f8-8c30-9e2b89192056
Azaneu, M.
765b08c8-eefc-4a6d-a6fb-24d2243f1ec2
Wainer, I.
83ef665a-b7f1-4322-bde0-631fa6a48dd3
Fahrbach, E.
40fa8178-1bb2-4f33-8bad-a9eb9e26338c
Rohardt, G.
2c167911-dee7-4dfa-8482-658996dfb794
Dotto, T.S.
c5ee790e-4e5f-428d-81a4-cef9656c1ef7
Kerr, R.
962f2f9a-611c-4abf-a697-420241478624
Mata, M.M.
da6b68e6-6c3d-46f8-8c30-9e2b89192056
Azaneu, M.
765b08c8-eefc-4a6d-a6fb-24d2243f1ec2
Wainer, I.
83ef665a-b7f1-4322-bde0-631fa6a48dd3
Fahrbach, E.
40fa8178-1bb2-4f33-8bad-a9eb9e26338c
Rohardt, G.
2c167911-dee7-4dfa-8482-658996dfb794

Dotto, T.S., Kerr, R., Mata, M.M., Azaneu, M., Wainer, I., Fahrbach, E. and Rohardt, G. (2014) Assessment of the structure and variability of Weddell Sea water masses in distinct ocean reanalysis products. Ocean Science, 10 (3), 523-546. (doi:10.5194/os-10-523-2014).

Record type: Article

Abstract

We assessed and evaluated the performance of five ocean reanalysis products in reproducing essential hydrographic properties and their associated temporal variability for the Weddell Sea, Antarctica. The products used in this assessment were ECMWF ORAS4 (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts Ocean Reanalysis System 4), CFSR (Climate Forecast System Reanalysis), MyOcean UR025.4 (University of Reading), ECCO2 (Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean, Phase II) and SODA (Simple Ocean Data Assimilation). The present study focuses on the Weddell Sea deep layer, which is composed of the following three main water masses: Warm Deep Water (WDW), Weddell Sea Deep Water (WSDW) and Weddell Sea Bottom Water (WSBW). The MyOcean UR025.4 product provided the most accurate representation of the structure and thermohaline properties of the Weddell Sea water masses when compared with observations. All the ocean reanalysis products analyzed exhibited limited capabilities in representing the surface water masses in the Weddell Sea. The CFSR and ECCO2 products were not able to represent deep water masses with a neutral density ? 28.40 kg m?3, which was considered the WSBW's upper limit throughout the simulation period. The expected WDW warming was only reproduced by the SODA product, whereas the ECCO2 product was able to represent the trends in the WSDW's hydrographic properties. All the assessed ocean reanalyses were able to represent the decrease in the WSBW's density, except the SODA product in the inner Weddell Sea. Improvements in parameterization may have as much impact on the reanalyses assessed as improvements in horizontal resolution primarily because the Southern Ocean lacks in situ data, and the data that are currently available are summer-biased. The choice of the reanalysis product should be made carefully, taking into account the performance, the parameters of interest, and the type of physical processes to be evaluated.

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Published date: 23 June 2014
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science

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Local EPrints ID: 383891
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/383891
ISSN: 1812-0792
PURE UUID: 55357695-4f90-4e00-9788-57923dc0f17d

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Date deposited: 11 Nov 2015 10:30
Last modified: 14 Aug 2019 18:32

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